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    NHRC urges govt to act on Rohingya

    The government must decide quickly on temporary shelters for displaced Rohingya until more permanent solutions are found, a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) says. 


    NHRC commissioner Niran Pitakwatchara said he was concerned the Rohingya currently being detained in Thailand were being deprived of basic rights. 

    The migrants, many of whom have arrived in southern Thailand by boat this year, have been kept in scattered shelters and detention centres for seven months and the government should now decide what to  do about them, Mr Niran said.

    The Rohingya migrants are kept in poor living conditions in temporary shelters, and also suffer exploitation by trafficking gangs, and extortion from smuggling gangs, he told a seminar titled: “The Rohingya: Unwanted and Alone in Thailand”. 

    “Though Thailand is not a [UN refugee convention] signatory, state ministries could actually hasten their authority in providing decent and appropriate shelters for these people, based on human rights principles in the constitution,” he said. 


    Temporary shelters should be quickly provided for them and local communities where the centres would go should be closely consulted before the Rohingya relocation takes place, he said. 


    “Being a refugee is not a criminal offence, and a Rohingya is not an illegal immigrant,” he said. 

    “We can carry on providing religious and community support for the Rohingya while waiting for appropriate solutions.” 

    He said the Immigration act allowed the authority to move the Rohingya to places outside immigration centres. 

    The director of the Anti-Trafficking in Women and Children Division at the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, Saowanee Khomepatr, said policymakers should act quickly since families which had been broken up felt disheartened. They were still being lured by gangsters to meet the rest of their families in Malaysia and Indonesia. 

    Burmese Rohingya Association in Thailand president Maung Kyaw Nu said Asean should no longer allow Myanmar to continue its genocide against the Rohingya people, a legitimate ethnic group. 
    In Prachuap Khiri Khan, 37 more Rohingya refugees broke out of detention at Singkhon immigration control in Muang district in the early hours of yesterday.